The Charger Blog

Undergraduate Admissions Director Explains Admissions Programs and Application Process

Caitlin Locke, director of undergraduate recruitment, answers frequently asked questions about applying to the University of New Haven, discussing everything from applying Early Action to the advantages of the University’s application.

September 15, 2023 (Updated November 27, 2023)

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications, and Caitlin Locke, Office of Undergraduate Admissions

Students sitting in a circle, outside, on campus.
The University welcomes members of its Class of 2027 as part of a recent orientation session.

The University of New Haven is actively recruiting its undergraduate Class of 2028, which will join the University community next August. Get an inside look at some of the ways to apply and the deadlines for each.

Renee Chmiel: What are the requirements of the Early Decision admission program?
Caitlin Locke: Early Decision is binding admission – so students applying through Early Decision are committing to attending the University of New Haven if offered admission. Students who choose to apply Early Decision must submit their application and required materials no later than December 1. In addition to the traditional application materials, Early Decision applicants must also submit the Early Decision contract and complete an Early Decision interview with a member of the Undergraduate Admissions team. If all required materials have been submitted by the December 1 deadline, students can expect to hear back quickly – no later than December 15. Those accepted under Early Decision must also submit their enrollment fee and, if applicable, housing deposit (both non-refundable) prior to the March 1 deadline. Please note that we have extended the Early Decision commitment deadline for students admitted for the Fall 2024 start term from February 1 to March 1 to accommodate this year's new FAFSA launch date. Early Decision admitted students must submit their enrollment fee and, if applicable, housing depositing (both non-refundable) by the March 1, 2024 deadline.

RC: What are the advantages of applying Early Decision?
CL: For students who are 100-percent certain that they plan to attend the University of New Haven if admitted, Early Decision provides an expedited admissions and enrollment process. They’re essentially making their college choice at the time they apply to the University and by officially committing by March 1, they are getting a jump-start on all of the next steps in the enrollment process.

RC: How does the Early Action program work? How is it different from Early Decision?
CL: Early Action is non-binding and requires that students apply and submit their required materials by December 15. All applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, but we guarantee that completed Early Action applications are reviewed by January 15.

So, while both Early Decision and Early Action offer students the chance to apply during the fall of their senior year, Early Action does so without the binding aspect. Early Action is popular, as many students are very interested in the University but would like to hear back about their offers of scholarship and financial aid and have time to visit, explore options, etc., before formally committing. Early Action students have until the traditional May 1 decision deadline to accept their offer of admission.

RC: What is the difference between Early Action I and Early Action II?
CL: The main difference is the timeline. Early Action I has a December 15 deadline for students to submit their application and materials, whereas Early Action II has a February 15 deadline. We encourage students to apply during the fall of their senior year whenever possible, but we understand that sometimes students just need a little more time to be ready to hit submit, or they may have added us to their college list a little later in the year!

RC: What scholarships are available to students who apply Early Decision or Early Action? How do students apply?
CL: All students who are admitted to the University for full-time admission are considered for our traditional merit-based scholarships. These scholarships range from $10,000 to $30,000 annually. Students who choose to apply through Early Decision or Early Action I or II have a special benefit – instead of their minimum merit scholarship being $10,000, we ensure that their minimum is instead $15,000 as a bonus for applying early. (Please note that this isn’t an additional scholarship – but rather an increase to the minimum offered if admitted.)

The University also offers other scholarships. These might include scholarships for those admitted to the University’s Honors program or those awarded a scholarship for participation in the University’s marching band program, etc. Since these scholarships have firm deadlines, it’s best to apply for admission as early as possible to ensure you’re considered for these additional awards.

Caitlin Locke, director of undergraduate recruitment.
Caitlin Locke, director of undergraduate recruitment.

RC: What other advantages are there to applying Early Decision and Early Action vs. Regular Decision?
CL: One of the best advantages to applying Early Decision or Early Action is the timeline. We review applications on a rolling basis – so the sooner students apply, the sooner they’ll hear back! The peace of mind that comes with receiving that first college acceptance is worth it.

Additionally, we are a smaller-sized school with limited space in certain academic programs. To best position themselves to score a seat in their first-choice major, students should consider applying early. In terms of scholarship and financial aid, students who are accepted Early Decision or Early Action I will maximize their scholarship opportunities with the University and will also be among the earliest to receive their offer of financial aid. (Please note that a completed FAFSA – Free Application for Federal Student Aid – is required to receive a financial aid offer.)

RC: When applying to the University, what are the required materials that students will need?
CL: Students must submit either the Common Application or our University of New Haven application. We’ll also need their high school transcript and essay – the Common App essay fulfills this requirement. We are test optional for most populations and a letter of recommendation is encouraged but not required.

Additionally, students who are applying for Early Decision must also complete an Early Decision contract and interview with a member of the Undergraduate Admissions team.

RC: What are the advantages of the University of New Haven application? Who should apply using this application?
CL: One big difference is that students who receive emails from us may receive a link to access a partially pre-filled University of New Haven application, which hopefully saves the applicant a little time! Our application is also helpful for students who may only be applying to our school or, those who, on the other hand, are applying to many schools. The Common App usually has a cap on the number of schools a student may add to receive their application.

RC: What majors are included on the University of New Haven application? Are there any new majors that have recently been added?
CL: Students can apply directly into their top-choice major using either the Common App or our University of New Haven application. And while many students are drawn to our school for the wide array of career-driven academic programs – we have more than 100 majors and programs – there are many who are still deciding what they’d like to study, and they can find a home in our B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies major or begin as an Undeclared/Exploratory student. A couple of new additions to our list of undergraduate programs include our B.A. in Game Design & Interactive Media and our Online/Hybrid B.S. in Cyber Threat Intelligence and Financial Crimes Investigation.

RC: How long does it take for a student who has applied to receive a decision?
CL: We try our very best to provide a quick turnaround to students. We understand how it feels to play the waiting game! We review applications on a rolling basis and get back to students no later than 4-6 weeks from when all application materials have been received.

RC: What support does the University offer to students to help them with the admission/enrollment process?
CL: Our undergraduate admissions team is ready and excited to support applicants every step of the way! Each applicant will receive access to a portal where they can track their application status, submit materials, and see contact information for their admissions counselor. Each student is assigned an individual admissions counselor based on geographic regions, and that counselor will be their main point of contact, be involved in the application review process for that student and may even visit their high school! Each fall, we host Instant Decision Day programs with various high schools in the northeast where we can meet with applicants and provide them with an on-the-spot decision. Those Instant Decision Days are some of our very favorite days of the entire admissions cycle!

RC: How does this process differ for transfer students? Can they apply Early Decision/Early Action?
CL: Students who have enrolled at another institution after completing high school are considered transfer students. Transfer students tend to follow a bit of a different cycle and follow a streamlined rolling admissions/regular decision process and can disregard information about Early Decision and Early Action. We offer both spring and fall intakes annually for transfer students.

In addition to submitting their application, transfer students will need to send over their college transcript(s) for evaluation. Applicants who have completed fewer than 12 college credits after high school will need to provide an official final high school transcript or GED; applicants who have completed 12 or more college credits after high school may submit a copy of their high school diploma. Transfer applicants may learn more about transfer admission by visiting

RC: Is there anything else about the application process that would be helpful for prospective students and their families to know?
CL: A very important piece in the college decision-making process is the financial aid offer. This year, some changes are being made to the 2024-2025 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The expected launch date of the revised FAFSA is December 31, 2023. Previously, the FAFSA launched annually in October. Now more than ever, I would encourage students to consider their options for early admission so that they can cross as many college application items off their checklists in the early fall months and then shift focus toward filing their FAFSA and completing the financial aid process once the FAFSA launches. We wish all applicants the best of luck and hope to see many of you visiting us on campus soon!

This content was updated on November 27, 2023 to reflect the new Early Decision Commitment Deadline of March 1 for incoming students to submit their enrollment fee and, if applicable, housing deposit (both are non-refundable), as well as the expected launch date of the revised FAFSA being December 1, 2023.